Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ima Geek

Hello.  My name is Ima Geek.  Until my later adult years, I've not lived up to my name.  So this morning, as a new year approaches, I thought I would examine how I've evolved and now more closely match my namesake.

The following list of  "thing's I've done in my lifetime" is not a confession, nor is it a list of things I feel guilty about.  I've learned a lot from these experiences.  Some of them aren't even "bad."  They are just un-geeky.  And many of these, I've done more than once:

  • driven 105 miles an hour on a highway
  • refused to wear a seat belt even when wearing one became the law (shows you hold old I am)
  • raced strangers on a highway and in a city where I didn't know where I was going
  • smoked cigarettes
  • pierced my own ears
  • driven in a car with a felon possessing drugs and illegal guns
  • gone into a bar where cocaine was being served up in a back room
  • drank until I got drunk, puked and passed out
  • played drinking games
  • danced until my hair was soaked with sweat
  • had sex with strangers
  • planned to commit suicide
  • had an eating disorder
  • written filthy stories
  • fooled around in public places
  • mildly (accidentally) compromised national security
  • gotten a tattoo 
  • had to collect food stamps and assistance from WIC
  • listened to screaming metal music
  • dyed my hair black
  • gone partially goth
  • skipped a lot of high school
  • put my report card through the wash so my parents wouldn't discover I'd skipped school
  • had a fake wedding and eventually married at a gas station (don't even ask)
  • gotten divorced 
  • lived with a musician and acted as an unofficial roadie 
  • stayed up all night
  • committed petty theft at work
  • sworn at my father
  • tried to run away from home
  • watched porn (was amazed, appalled and amused)
  • asked a stranger in front of a liquor store to buy alcohol for me when I was underage (he did)
  • gotten a "D" in history
  • dated dangerous men
  • been homeless and car-less
  • owned lizards, turtles and rats
  • lied about my age to get a hotel room with my boyfriend
  • gotten caught by my parents while I was staying at the hotel with my boyfriend
  • cussed worse than a gangsta  
  • flipped people off in the car
  • gone "commando" while wearing a skirt
  • driven cross country and without guidance with my babies
  • walked out on jobs
  • explored dangerous places by myself
  • gone to nightclubs where I really wanted to pick up a guy (unsuccessful for the most part)
  • "cruised the strip" in a city, talking to strangers through open car windows
Over the past years, I've slowly rid myself of non-geek behavior.  Many of the changes I attribute to raising kids who, thank God, turned out great in spite of me.  And, since many of my stupid moves could be attributed to adolescence, it's safe to assume I simply grew out of idiocy through trial and error.

When I compare what I've done to others' choices, I don't look so bad, so long as I make the comparison to real trouble makers.  After all, I've never tried drugs of any kind, have never been arrested and have never lost my license.   

So let's examine the changes, first through the "don'ts."  I no longer

  • drink
  • dance (unless I'm with kids)
  • stay up all night
  • compromise national security
  • plan to commit suicide 
  • cuss as much
  • go commando
  • date or form friendships with dangerous men
  • dress goth
  • pierce myself
  • "cruise"
  • walk out of jobs
  • steal
  • go homeless or car-less
  • listen to screaming metal music (Nickelback doesn't count)
  • get below "B's" in classes
  • smoke
  • swear at my parents
  • flip people off in the car
  • drag race on highways
  • drive at dangerous speeds
  • explore dangerous places, especially by myself
  • have sex with strangers or anyone other than my husband
  • write filthy stories that are just plain filth
  • watch porn
  • fool around in public places
  • have to collect food stamps or use programs like WIC
Here's a list of what I do when I've got free time (other than being with family):

  • write
  • read
  • try to meditate
  • study
  • work
  • scrapbook
  • hike (not as much as I should)
  • "intellectually meander"
  • attend church 
  • volunteer
  • go to writers' groups
  • work with the down and out
  • donate
  • daydream
  • explore safe places by myself
Here are some things I wish I would do but don't yet because I'm still a little hung up:

  • dance 
  • sing in public
  • cease getting homesick after being away for three days
  • get fit and beautiful and believe I AM fit and beautiful
I stopped dancing when I stopped going to clubs where I mostly danced when drunk because when I drank, I didn't care what I looked like.

I gave up singing after I got pregnant and couldn't maintain my breathing (baby was sitting on my diaphragm).  Now, I don't sing because I've had some hearing loss and can't hold a pitch unless I block my ear.  I mostly sing in the car or at home but never in public.

Here are some things I'd like to do/do more of but haven't been able to because of life's circumstances:
  • travel to interesting, foreign places (not tourist traps--places where there are real people with real culture)
  • perfect a foreign language
  • study things I've forgotten (like world history, geography)
  • study more things in depth (like word origins)
  • improve my short-term memory, especially of things I study
  • keep my car clean (not a priority, but would be nice)
  • get another tattoo (probably some kind of peace sign on my other ankle)
  • get another ear piercing
  • throw away all my ripped underwear 
  • own a floppy-eared goat

Essentially, I don't mind being a geek.  Being a geek has helped me maintain a healthy family.  Being a geek has increased the probability I won't die of my own stupidity.  Being a geek has enabled me to learn new things.

But I don't want to stagnate as a geek.  I don't want to give up my sense of adventure.  I don't want to separate myself from the rest of the world which, unfortunately, really is a dangerous place.

So as 2012 births, I'm going to be thinking of ways to progress, not so much setting new year's resolutions as setting my sights.  I think I'm already on my way.
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